Dworkin Teacher Burnout Scale

Dworkin, G. A., et al. (1986). The effects of tokenism on work alienation among urban public school teachers. Work and Occupations 13:399–420.


The 10-item scale is based on the work by Seeman (1959). There are two items for each of the following five areas of alienation identified by Seeman: powerlessness, normlessness, meaninglessness, isolation, and estrangement.


The original sample consisted of 3,277 public school teachers from Texas in 1977. These teachers were surveyed prior to the implementation of any school reform initiatives. The second sample consisted of 1,060 public school teachers after the implementation of reform initiatives (1986–1987).


The alpha coefficient was 0.83.


Factor analytic procedures confirmed the unidimensionality of the WSI. In addition, the WSI has been com- pared to the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

Factor Analysis:

Although a principal factor analysis yielded two factors, the first factor accounted for 90 percent of the total variance. Another factor analysis was conducted and the results of this oblique factor analysis yielded one factor.


Caram, D. F. (1982). An analysis of factors associated with job dissatisfaction and quitting behavior among urban public school teachers. EdD dissertation, University of Houston.

Coughlin, R. J. (1970). Dimensions of teacher morale. American Education Research Journal 7:221–33.

Jackson, S. E., et al. (1986). Toward an understanding of the burnout phenomenon. Journal of Applied Psychology 71:630–40. Maslach, C., and Jackson, S. E. (1981). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Occupational Behavior 2:99–113. Seeman, M. (1959). On the meaning of alienation. American Sociological Review 32:273–85.

Dworkin Teacher Burnout Scale

1. Those who make the ultimate decisions in the school system really pay attention to my ideas and suggestions.
2. The longer I am in school, the more I realize how little control I have over things that happen here.
3. Teachers can get what they want without breaking the rules.
4. Many of the school rules are so rigid and/or absurd that a good teacher must defy regulations.
5. My experiences in school have proven that public school teaching is a rewarding career.
6. I see my job as contributing very little to the betterment of the world.
7. The people I work with and my students make me feel like I’m of vital importance to the school.
8. Sometimes I think a teacher could drop dead or quit and nobody would know or care.
9. I cannot imagine my choosing any other career than teaching.
10. I am seriously planning to leave the field of education.


A five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 = Strongly agree to 5 = Strongly disagree, is used for the first item in each of the five categories. The scoring is reversed for the second item in each of the five categories. A low score indicates low alienation or burnout.